Monday, December 1, 2014

Journal Review #6

Deubel, P. (2007, 11 8). The Great Debate: Effectiveness of Technology in Education. The Journal, 1-3.
The article, The Great Debate: Effectiveness of Technology in Education examines the continued debate about the usefulness of technology in the classroom. It begins with questioning the definition of the word technology and the word effectiveness. Depending on your perception of the definition really determines the answer. 
Then the article talks about the difference between education and school. The End of Education (1995) stated that, "education is not the same thing as school and that fact, not much of our education takes place in a school." The national survey call for school to teach more than basic skills and to prepare students to complete in a global economy by incorporating 21st century thinking and problem solving skills, computer and technology skills, and communication and self-direction skills into their curriculum
The author then goes on to discuss 10 more points to add "fuel to the fire." Basically posing that for every beneficial thing about technology there is a disadvantage. That added to the continued debate is also the effectiveness that technology has on intellectualemotionalpolitical, sensory, social and content basis. Technology continues to change the way that we think and that has to be taken into consideration. The impact of technology on creativity, innovation, volatility, and turbulence is also great. 
Technology will not necessary improve education but allow classrooms to become more student centered, self directed curriculum rather than a one size fits all. 

We have been discussing the same topic in class for several weeks. I thought that I had a clear viewpoint on technology and its effectiveness in the classroom. That is until I read this article. The article hits on two very strong viewpoints about the effectiveness of technology. That technology can make a significant contribution when the teachers are training to integrate technology into their teaching. We are often shown the various and given 30 minutes to try to incorporated them into our lessons. It is obvious that this creates confusion and frustration among teachers, especially those who teaches content that technology doesn't fit seamlessly
The second viewpoint that stands out is find a balance of incorporating technology in the classroom. The author makes an analogy comparing technology to food. One can not survive without food, but it is also dangerous for one to eat too much food. Technology can create new worlds, but there is a fine line between what is good and what is bad. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Journal Entry #5

Scherer, M. (2010). Transforming Education with Technology: A Conversation with Karen Cator. ASCD, 17-21.

            The article talks with the director of the Office of Educational Technology about the Educational Leadership and the implementation of the educational technology plan and the national vision for schools. It begins with a brief examine of Mooreville Fade School District in Mooresville, North Carolina. It is a district that supplies students with one to one device that are used in various ways throughout the school building and many different curricular areas. There is a focus to use more technology to facilitate communication, engagement, interaction and understanding. Student engagement isn’t focused on the entertainment value, but on the brain activity of the student.
            Providing one on one device also allows for the personalization of learning. It is easier to allow student choice, meeting interests and ensuring that assignments are at appropriate level and allowing for prior experience and language to support learning. Students were using technology to bookmark practice games for math, collaborate with other students on writing and present multimedia presentations about novel themes in small groups.
            Technology can provide more balanced learning opportunities for all students. New technology is necessary to be literate in the 21st century. The Department of Educational Technology provided a three step process for digital literacy. 1. The ability to use information well, 2. Ability to use media and digital technologies to communicate and collaborate effectively and 3. To develop digital citizenship. This process leads to a more personalized, engaging, interesting learning environment.


            When technology is widely available teachers can facilitate personalization, participation, interaction and collaboration among people who may be across the world. I am lucky enough to teach in a district where there has never been an issue about the availability of technology. During testing situations, there may be a lack of devices, but we have been able to work around that so that never impeded learning. I never thought of areas around the nation that not only has a lack of devices, but also the access to internet. Access is a basic necessity for all learners. In class we have discussed the feeling of being overwhelmed because of all the tools that we are learning and how to implement them in our classrooms. The mere thought of not having access to implement these tools scares me. Talk about the learning gap and the great divide between the have and have nots. It is amazing to think about the level of technology education that differs between states and among various cities. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Journal Review #4

Mandernach, J. (2009). Effect of Instructor-Personalized Multimedia in the Online Classroom. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(3), 1-19.
According to the term multimedia is, “the combined use of several media, as sound and full-motion video in computer applications.” I think we use multimedia constantly in the classroom whether we call it that or not.
The journal article by Jean Mandernach is a recounting study of conducted through a college psychology course that examines the types of student engagement through various use of multimedia in the course. They use the theory of multimedia by Doolittle, “web-based multimedia represent the presentation of instruction that enables more then one delivery media, presentation mode, and/or sensory modality” (2001, p3).
The study relied on the basic learning principles of the cognitive theory of multimedia:
1.     Meaningful learning occurs when a learner selects relevant information, organizes the information, and makes connection between corresponding representations.
2.     Each working memory store has limited capacity.
3.     Human have separate systems for representing verbal and nonverbal information.
Using screenshot and visual audio, the professor taught several courses. Each course was designed to see the educational value of multimedia and if it is dependent upon appropriate inclusion of multimedia supplements to enhance the cognitive impact of the text.
            There was a control group, a video only group, an audio power point group and finally a video plus power point group. The content was exactly the same for each class, the variable was the instruction.
The overall result was that students focused on performance engagement rather than skills, emotional or participation engagement. A number of students chose to respond to the professor praising the course that utilized multimedia. They stated that it was more interesting, they learned more than in other classes and some even changed their major.

            With technology being a forefront of many children’s early learning, I think that it is important that we understand when we try to teach them the “traditional” curriculum. Students learn in a variety of ways and with technology almost immediately. When planning lessons, I think that it is an advantage of having the same message/lesson come across in a variety of ways. This can not only increase the engagement of the students, but also allow for students to have a greater understanding of the content since it is presented multiple times and in a variety of ways.  

            I think is also beneficial if students can utilize multimedia as an assessment to their learning. The key part if teaching them what multimedia is and showing how to use it effectively. Just because there is a video embedded into a power point presentation or they use WeVideo, the content may still be lacking. This is a continued struggle even with adults. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Journal Review #3

Article Review #3

Linik, J.R. (2012). Literacy 2.0: Teaching students the skills needed to succeed in our information economy, Education Northwest v17 (Spring 2012) pg 16-19.
            The article begins by saying that English Language Learners are begging to takes quizzes via various technology devices. This article focuses on the technology being utilized in the Seattle public school systems. Using these technology devices students are allowed to focus more on literacy skills and collaborating with others. These “Net Gen” kids primarily have grown up using digital tools to complete tasks every day. It is the school’s responsibility to teach children how to succeed in this information economy.
            The article states the example of Clagget Creek Middle School and its teacher, Matt Hurst, who used iPod Touches for students to utilize during classroom discussions, research finding and writing via a blog. It gives all his students appropriate wait time and the chance to participate. Some apps also give the students a chance for healthy competition.  It is a way for them to chart progress and gain confidence. These apps also give immediate feedback so that Mr. Hurst can incorporate re-teaching moments or extension activities into his lesson.
            Literacy is challenge for many of Mr. Hurst’s students, so he is using the technology to help the students with their writing. They students can connect to this format because it is what they are used to seeing when then read.
            Seattle also has a blog ( where students can write and post about social injustices, their own writing or drawing or community issues. This type of platform allows them to communicate and collaborate with others and as well as speak to the “real world.” This gives students the greater purpose of sharing their voice and that what they say matters.
            Using digital tools increases the engagement of the students and allows students to gain an interest in a topic/class. Students can hone literacy skills through reading, researching and responding. Through the create of digital story media student communicate to the community at large.
Many of the applications mentioned in this article keeps English Language Learners in mind. However, I think it is important to note that these can be applied to any student. The idea of students using digital tools to communicate to the “real world” or community is the most important idea. Students need to be able to have their voices heard and taken into consideration.
            I think it is important it start small and continues to build on the foundation. Students may take their writing more serious and learn the skill of clearly communicating with a purpose.

I would like to see it start in the intermediate grades with letters to the community, an open dialogue with the Village board. The students even at this young age can be activist for a cause they believe in. As they continue with their education, we can have them reach out of their neighborhood and become global thinkers. Start sharing their ideas with people at large and communicating with people abroad. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Journal Review #2

Article Review #2

Gonzales, L., Vodicka, D. and White, J. (2011) Leadership 2.0: Social Media in Advocacy Leadership, v41 n1 Sep-Oct 2011 p18-20, 22, 38.
Incorporating social media into the classroom may seem like a daunting task for most educators. It doesn’t matter what you teach or how long you have been teaching for, the use of social media for education is rapidly growing. These Web 2.0 tools range from basic use of Internet, mobile devices, to social search engines, and photo-sharing services. First created for the personal use and entertainment value; they are making the way into the education field.
            These tools are now being used to begin social changes. Education leaders are now tasked with informing the public about the variety of changes happening in the education community, whether it be education politics, school closings or budget discussions. Using the knowledge of these issues can help turn a personal campaigns into public campaigns. Teachers can become educational leaders outside of their classroom and create action where there was none prior.
            When choosing to use social media it is important that you start with a clear purpose and that the tool that you use will match up with that purpose. If you begin this advocacy, it is also important that you continually monitor what is going on. Campaigns have been used for centuries, but using social media for those campaigns is something that is new. In 2008, The Obama campaign gained 5 million supports through various social networks.
Facebook – Facebook is free and has over 600 million users. It can provide people with 24/7 newsfeed and an abundance of content. One can like a status, follow a page or add to a conversation. It is important to remember that not everyone has a Facebook account so don’t rely on this as your sole communication tool.
Twitter – Originally created to answer the question “What are you doing?”, now it provides people to use 140 characters to communicate quickly and provides a sense of immediacy. With so many people using Twitter, a message can get retweeted several times to broaden your communication circle, however, the message can also get lost with so many people posing their own message.
eBlasts – An effective way of getting information out to a lot of people is to use email blasts. You can use a company for a nominal fee that will often provide you with a template to send out your message.
Blogs – There are so many blogs and blog companies out now. It is very easy to set up and maintain. It started out as a diary entry format, but has expanded to education and the food world. The ease of publishing a blog and being able to use that blog into various settings, makes it very common and popular.
            With the education field rapidly changing and the various challenges that are presented to us, social media is a great way to get the issues and potential solutions to the public, community members, parents, and politicians. We encourage children to stand up and right for what they believe in, it is time that educators use social media to take that stand.
            Throughout this class, we have discussed technology tools and social media for the classroom. I never thought it use it on a bigger scale. Even while reading this article, I kept thinking of how to apply it to my classroom’ do I use Facebook or Twitter to get my message across. Yes, I do want to make a change in education, but right now I just want my E/LA students to turn their reading log in on time. It amazes me that this tool can allow for differentiation at levels and purposes.

            I think that these tools are all great communication tools and are useful within the classroom and outside the classroom. Educators can help dispel myths about teaching and provide accurate information to the public so that they can make an informed decision. It is nice that with just a tap of some keys and a click of a mouse, the world can potentially change. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Being a student (again) is an daunting task. I have a new found respect for our students and people going back to class. Diving into this new chapter in my career is filled great trepidation. It is scary moment to try and learn something new for the first time. I am used to being in the "know" and in charge. Now I have to give into the wind and trust myself to learn and keep I now have realized that "techie" mistakes can be fixed with a great amount of patience and a little help from my friends.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Journal Review #1

Article Review #1: Integrating Social Media into the Classroom Curriculum

Abe, P. & Jordan N.A. (2013) Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom Curriculum, American College Personnel Association and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 16-20, DOI: 10.1002/abc.21107

            In the article “Integrating Social Media into the Classroom Curriculum” Paige Abe and Nickolas A. Jordan examine the use of social media in higher education. This is primary done through various experimental assignments, class surveys and observational feedback.
            “94% of first year college students spent time on social networking sites in a typical week” (Abe & Jordan, 2013). With that statistic college educators set out to incorporate social media into the classroom primary to increase student engagement.  Using a digital tool such as Twitter ©, educators were able to spark discussion among students, interaction between students and faculty and facilitate interactive and collaborative learning. Assignments or discussion questions were posted and students were to respond using Twitter © with an assigned hastag for the educator to follow. This provided a way for students to participate in class during class and beyond the classroom walls.
            Students in higher education (the millennials) are born tech savvy and using social media allows for them to be more engaged and allow educators to meet the students’ needs at their level. Some disadvantages of using tools such as Twitter creates the potential for distractions in the classroom, especially within a lecture style class where it is unlikely for a professor to call out a particular student. However, it was stated that students have been self distracting for years prior to the invention of technology. Skype is another tool that has been incorporated in higher education. It allows for global education to take place and breaks down physical, financial or geographical barriers.
            Students are very competent in using social media, but now applying social media to education provides another level of use that they may not be familiar with. It isn’t enough for a educator to set up an assignment or activity using social media and set the students to collaborate and share without some guidance and direction. This can be as simple as a lesson in modeling what the expectations of using social media in education. Educators will now have a greater responsibly of instructing the use of social media in an education setting and motoring the appropriate use of this tool. With the lasting effects of a digital footprint, students may not be aware of the interaction within social media even if it for higher education.
            Using social media to engagement of students may leave educators feeling uncomfortable and blurring the lines between professional and personal interactions. Also it decrease the role that face to face interaction and how typed words can be misinterpreted. Just as educators may set those clear boundaries and finally feel comfortable with social media, there is a great potential for the tools to change and educators are right back at the starting point.
            Even though this article presented both the advantages and disadvantages of social media in higher education, the overall recommendation is that it is a positive and productive tool. It received positive feedback from both students and educators. There is still many kinks to work out; that will only be solved through application and practice.


            Even though this article was written with the college level student in mind, I think it can be easily applied to every level of educator. One of the biggest issues that we struggle with is student interaction and engagement. I don’t think social media would completely erase the issue, but it would help ease it. Using social media in the middle school is a great tool to help the communication and bridge the gap between school and home. Our students often go home and notify their parents that they didn’t learn anything and no homework, whether that be the truth or not. Using tools like a classroom Twitter © or Facebook © allows parents to see what their child is learning and provide a basis of conversation between the student and parent. This may also cause some strife from the student if they are not keeping with their assignments. However, I feel that is a risk that both educators and parents are willing to take. Teaching itself is never easy and adding social media to our content would be a daunting task, but it is one that is necessary. If we ask students to use social media in the classroom, then we need to teach them how to use it. Educators need to set clear guidelines and expectations. This can only help our students within the classroom walls and beyond in their future education and society. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

                                   Getting Started

This blog is created to share ideas and discussion about technology in education. It is an assignment for my MAET class, but I am interested in how it turns out. 
As I am not a very techie person this whole idea overwhelms and confuses me. Technology and its devices should seem so easy and user friendly (most of them are), however I am scared of pushing the wrong button or clicking on the wrong link. Are techie mistakes easily fixed?